Ever Tasted Anything Like This Before?

It’s that time of year again here in Minnesota… Time for all the cabin owners to put their docks, boats and lifts back into the recently thawed lakes around the state.  Best Bud Ed’s place is no exception to this ritual.

The original plan was for me to leave from work on Friday – drive the three hours up to the cabin, and since Ed could not get there until much later – I was expecting some much needed “solitude”.  I would get the fire going, catch up on some reading and (having planned a dinner ahead of time) I would have dinner ready when Ed arrived.   

After leaving work, and knowing I had a lot of spare time on my hands, I also took the opportunity to load up the GPS for some “road trip GeoCaching”.  A visit to one of my “regular stops” whenever I head up “up north” would also be possible… 

Milaca Unclaimed Freight

If  you have never visited MUF, and you have a chance – do so.  It’s a unique shop.  I could (and do) spend hours walking up and down those isles.

After stopping at MUF, and having a horrible afternoon of GeoCaching (having found only two out of the six I attempted on the trip up) I stopped at the grocery store and liquor store for the evening’s dinner.  It was not until after I stopped at the store(s) that I called Ed and discovered that his Dad was already up there.  I’d loose out on the “solitude” but gain some great conversation and company while waiting for Ed. 

I arrived, met up with John, got unpacked, and we began visiting.  We talked about Ed, and politics, and old time radio programs, and the cabin… Heck we caught up on a lot!  He (proudly) showed off a couple of new firearm acquisitions he obtained (a couple of VERY nice ones!) before we poured a couple of shots of “Black” (what we call Blackberry Brandy)  and headed outside to fire up some cigars and get the campfire started. 

04-23-10_2044I built a modest little fire and we continued the conversation for a bit longer.  Soon, John headed inside to make himself a snack, and I headed in to prepare dinner. 

Dinner consisted of a ring of Kielbasa, some onion, and green pepper.  I planned on roasting the kielbasa over the fire, and sauté the onion and green pepper in a foil pouch (also over the fire).  I discovered that John said he would partake in the kielbasa, but not so much the pepper and onions.  (O.K.  All the more for Ed and I)

John never came back outside – he finished his snack and hollered that he was going to hit the sack.  Time for a little solitude!  I poured another “double” of “black”, cracked a Michelob Golden Light as a chaser, stoked the fire a little more, and settled in with my book.  The weather was PERFECT.  I sat outside with a short sleeve shirt.  The warmth of the campfire staved off any of the night chill.

Finally, around 10:30 – Ed arrived. 

We unpacked his stuff and he quickly proceeded to the fire pit where he 04-24-10_0122made my comfortable, modest fire into a blazing inferno!  He cracked out more beer and cigars, and we proceeded to eat, drink, and catch up.

I found out that like his dad, Ed was not interested in the green pepper / onion medley that accompanied the kielbasa fest – so that left a whole green pepper and 1/2 an onion all for me!! 

Over four hours, too many beers, a decent buzz, and too many cigars – we started crashing…  By the time we were in our respective beds, and turned the lights out – it was well past 3am.  It felt just like our college days!

Ed later told me he put an episode of (I think it was) Dragnet on his MP3 player to fall asleep to – and told me that he fell asleep before the opening credits and introduction were complete.  I (on the other hand) had put Kate Micucci’s EP “Songs” on, and was asleep before the first track ended.   

I forgot to turn my cel phone’s alarm clock off, so at 5am it rang a couple of times before I got it turned off.

Then, around 6:45 am we both rolled out of bed… Ed was pretty well hung over not feeling well, and I woke with the WORST taste in my mouth I have ever experienced… 

Imagine if you will an (full) ashtray – dumped out over (and rubbed into) a wet dog, then doused in stale beer (that was used to marinade some sautéed green peppers and onions).  Now lick that dog for… uh, I dunno… let’s say four hours or so.  Then, head off to bed.  When you wake in the morning, you will have an idea what my mouth tasted like when I woke up. 

Teeth brushing did nothing.  Wintergreen Life Savers did nothing.  Altoids did nothing (well, none of them did anything but add a hit of their essence to the whole ashtray/wet dog/stale beer taste.

The dock, boat and lift went back into the water without a hitch.  Almost too easily. 


Sorry – I forgot the “before” and a couple of “during” photos.  Left photo is dock and lift in.  Right photo has the boat and the roof on the lift. 

04-24-10_0921With the dock, boat and lift in, John ran into town for some fresh, home made donuts from the Aitkin Bakery (THE BEST donuts in the world!) while I made scrambled eggs and fried Spam planks.  Ed?  Well, since he was still hung over not feeling well, he laid down until breakfast was ready.

John arrived, and we “topped off” breakfast with the donuts (minus the unknown number he enjoyed on the road between the bakery and the cabin) that John had returned with. 

After breakfast, John headed out for a cigar – offering Ed and I one.  We looked at each other, turned to John and gave him our whole-hearted “no thank you’s”  (Since Ed was still hung over not feeling well, and my taste buds were still dealing with the whole ashtray/wet dog/stale beer (that was used to marinade some sautéed green peppers and onions) phenomenon).

Ed put on some Old Time Radio – and promptly fell asleep.  I listed to the first couple of shows, and laid down by the time the third show started.  I immediately fell asleep and do not know how long I napped.  But it sure felt good.

By this time, the rain had set in.  With the chores done, breakfast eaten, and nothing to do but sit in the cabin – we decided to call it a day. 

We packed up, said our good byes  and headed out.





Back end of EJH Woodworking’s “Moblie Woodworking Shop”
(i.e. Ed’s Truck)





On the way home (against my better judgment) I decided to try and up my GeoCaching percentage – and hit three more (despite the rain).  I did find all three, but on the last one, I slipped in the mud (on a hill) – fell flat on my back, and slid about 20 feet down a muddy hill.  I don’t know if you call that a successful find or not, but since I pass this location every time I head to the cabin. 

I AM certain (because nothin' is funnier that a tall and fat guy slipping on a muddy hill, falling on his arss, sliding down the hill (through the mud) – with an almost "confused" reaction, then cussing to himself once he realized how muddy he got!!) that it has made a lasting GeoCaching memory for me (if nothing else).


  1. Been there, done that. As far as the taste goes!

  2. Sounds like good, old fashioned fun. Your taste description was pretty hilarious. I'm sorry, but had I seen you slip down that hill I would have laughed pretty hard once I knew you were okay. :)

  3. Seeing the interior of the cabin sure brings back memories of when Chris, Katie, Ed, You and I were up there way way way back then. The sleeping area still looks the same. :-)

  4. That sounds like a great night with your buddy.
    We all need those nights to recharge our batteries every once in a while.

  5. c'mon ... in my Scouting years I tasted it ALL ... oh, wait ... they're not over ... what's on the menu NEXT weekend?


    Wanted to let you know ... not sure if you care, but I nominated you for a blog award. Check my blog for "details", such as they are ;-)

  6. David,
    I think the kielbasa made them . . .well nervous . . .uncomfortable. You understand.



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